Book reviews

The latest in a series of occasional publications produced by Carlisle Natural History Society is a collection of four articles relevant to the ornithological history of Cumbria…

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To the surprise of everyone except, perhaps, the authors and the publishers, Volumes I and II of the long-awaited Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds (HWPB), covering the passerines, was released over the summer…

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Is there space on your shelf for another book on gulls? For any ‘gull freak’ the answer will always be ‘yes’…

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The front cover image is of resting Oystercatchers, the back cover of Ringed Plovers. Their bold plumage patterns are a gift to printmakers but even so, as book jackets go, this is a stunner and an indication of the quality of artwork by Robert Gillmor…

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This new book provides a comprehensive review of all the rare birds, both breeding species and vagrants, to have occurred in Poland…

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It seems that every few weeks a bird species is announced as being ‘new’ to science. In some cases (such as the Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch) this is simply achieved through the promotion of a well-known subspecies to full species status. By comparison, the discovery of a completely new species that has gone undetected is still quite rare…

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The Long Spring takes us on a fragmented journey through Europe: from Spain in February to Norway in May, via France, the UK, Sweden and Finland. As he travels north, the author remains in a ‘perpetually incipient spring’, which is a nice idea, captured perfectly in these three words…

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This is an attractive little book, copiously and nicely illustrated, and written in a cheerful and informal style. It sets out to explain the binomial system we use to name birds, and then to translate and explain scientific names and, to a lesser extent, their vernacular counterparts. Unfortunately, it rather falls down on these aims…

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If you are interested in what seabirds do and why they do it, as opposed to what they simply look like, then buy this book – you’ll have a very entertaining and informative read…

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Most birders will have heard of Frances Willughby through his association with John Ray and their joint publication ‘Ornithology’…

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